Annabelle, a Dutch girl living in France tells her volunteer work experience with street children in Indonesia, read here story:
”Hi everybody, I am working as a volunteer and these are my experiences with street children. My name is Annabelle. I am 21 years old and besides studying at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta I want to make a change. I am a part of a young enthusiastic group of volunteers. We are aiming to make a difference by empowering local street children. I want to help them move forward towards a better future.
I was born in the Netherlands and live in France since 2003. Right now I am studying at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon. But now as an exchange student in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for my 5th semester. I consider myself a guest at the university in Indonesia. I want to do something back for their warm welcome. Thus, I chose to volunteer for the local street children. Think Volunteer promotes working for charity projects. I am part of a project called “Dreamhouse” were we give the opportunity for children to have access to education and a safe place of sharing and playing. My goal is to guide and work together with these children to give them the opportunities and keys to open new doors.
The children that we meet have problems at home such as violence, uncertainty, poverty, and are forced to become beggars. They dance, sell newspapers or food… This project is created to help them becoming friends with them, meeting their family and analysing the situation. Then the team can discuss with them what is best for the child and how we can help. This process can take years, in fact it is important to take our time to respect and gain trust.
Uno as icebreaker
We were supposed to meet three children with the age of 8, 6 and 3. Before we could met them, they went home because they got in trouble with the police. Then we met two other boys that are known by the team. We played Uno with them which was a good ice breaker. It was sometimes hard for me to understand the children because of the language barrier. However, the game helped me to discover their personality and to show mine as well. After a little more than one hour, one of the boys had to stop the game to go back to work. Very confronting as I was going home and that I knew that he would continue working all night.
This is why I am a volunteer in Indonesia. It is certainly not easy, but I want to give them the opportunities and the quality of life that they deserve.